why we decided to remodel our home.

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you've heard me talk about our home remodel that is in the process of taking place {very soon}. This has been something we have gone back and forth on for almost a year now, but it's FINALLY happening and we could not be more excited! I can't wait to take you along on this journey with us, but first, I want to start with giving you some background on how this came to be and where we currently are in the process. 

why a remodel? 

We bought our home almost 5 years ago right before we got married. It was our first home together and when we bought it, it suited our needs perfectly. It's currently a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with about 1600 square feet. It's a 1945 home, but it had been updated a few years prior to us moving in. Within the first two years, all we had to do was update the kitchen backsplash and countertops and add a custom built-in bookshelf and new fireplace mantle, it was pretty much turnkey at move in. These small changes made a huge difference and kept me happy for a few years. But after we had Tayler, it became very apparent that the layout of the home just wasn't conducive to our new lifestyle. One of my biggest complaints with the current layout is the lack of open concept. These older houses tend to be very compartmentalized - meaning the kitchen is closed off to the living room, etc. The small living space got even smaller as we incorporated in more toys, a high chair, {if you're a parent, you get it}. We also love to entertain, but rarely do it unless we know it's going to be nice and we can entertain in the backyard because we simply don't have the space.

Our home is split level with the main floor having two {small} bedrooms, one {very small} bathroom, along with the living/dining/kitchen. Downstairs, the finished basement is a lot roomier with a bigger bathroom and another living space which we deemed as Wes' "Mancave". It's where we spend most our time as a family watching movies or football, especially in the winter with the gas fireplace. There is also another small bedroom downstairs with a large space that I turned into my walk-in closet, as the closets on the main floor would just not suffice {apparently they didn't have clothes in the 1940's}. 

Last Summer, we noticed our neighbors did a beautiful addition and remodel to their house and it got us thinking about doing something similar. The Seattle housing market has been "hot" for some time now and we knew that finding something that checked off all the items on our wishlist and fit into our price range wasn't realistic. So, Wes agreed that we could "look into" doing an addition. If you know me, you know that "looking into" something means I go in 150%, so within 6 weeks I already had called contractors, a designer and had my dream home inspiration ready to go on Pinterest. At first, this addition was simply to add a fourth bedroom and open up the living and kitchen area, but since then it's become so much more than that. We are essentially doubling our square footage and adding some really unique custom features that will be special to our house. What I love about the thought of doing this remodel is that we have the control. We get to pick out the finishes and decide on the layout. This wasn't an easy decision as it's a HUGE undertaking - we have to move out for 6 months, there are a lot of unknowns with a remodel and our financial responsibility will change a lot from what it is now. But even after that all that, it was still worth it because we love where we live. We don't see ourselves living anywhere else and that was what really made our decision for us. We have amazing neighbors, we live a few miles from the beach and Tayler's elementary school will literally be across the street. And, we get to make our current home, essentially our dream home - how cool is that!? 

 What it looked like when we ripped out the old mantle {I don't even have a picture of what it looked like before}

What it looked like when we ripped out the old mantle {I don't even have a picture of what it looked like before}

 What it looked like after the built-ins were finished {not sure what's on the TV, LOL}. 

What it looked like after the built-ins were finished {not sure what's on the TV, LOL}. 

where we are in the process

I won't sugarcoat it...doing a remodel this scale takes time and patience - it's about 1.5 years from start to finish. We first had our plans drawn up by our designer last July. This was a tough decision because we had to pay a lot of money up front for something that may never see the light of day, but that's the risk you take if you want to do it right. You then need to have the land surveyed so you can see where your house sits on your property line {again, more money up front with no gaurantee}, and lastly, you can start getting bids from contractors. We made sure to get in touch with a few contractors before we actually had plans drawn to see if what we wanted to do was even possible. They were able to give us a very loose estimate on how much it would cost so we at least had an idea of what we were looking at. When choosing a contractor, my #1 rule of thumb would be to go with a referral from someone you trust. That's why we were so excited to go with our neighbor's contractor because we saw the amazing work they did on their home and they couldn't say enough good things about them in terms of professionalism and timeliness {you can't buy piece of mind}. 

Once that was all set in stone, we then had to start picking out our finishes {well roughly anyway}. This was so our contractor could give us a realistic bid - which I appreciated because a lot of companies will give you a bid based off what they think it will cost, but once you start picking out what you want your budget goes over significantly. After speaking with our contractor we realized there was a lot of things we wanted to change/update from our original plans. So, our designer went back and updated all the plans with our changes and had an engineer sign off on the changes to make sure everything looked okay structurally. Lastly, we sent the plans off to the city for permits. This is where we are in the process...waiting. After you submit them, they usually come back with a list of corrections for the designer/engineer to revise - this is why it takes so long because it's a lot of back and fourth. But if all goes well with ours, we should have permits within the next two weeks! My biggest piece of advice for someone considering a remodel would be to mentally prepare for everything to take forever {patience is a virtue}! Also, over-communicate to everyone you're working with and stay on top of your deadlines - or else it can drag out even longer. 

 We replaced the brick surround with a herringbone tile and slate grey floor tile from  Lowe's . 

We replaced the brick surround with a herringbone tile and slate grey floor tile from Lowe's

 Now, this is my favorite nook of the entire house. 

Now, this is my favorite nook of the entire house. 

If you have any questions about why we chose a designer vs. an architect or what contractor we are using, feel free to email me at styledoutwest@gmail.com and I'm happy to answer! Stay tuned for all my design inspo - first post coming next week!